ONE TOO MANY
BUCK: 6 ⁄8 “KLONDIKE,” A 180 -INCH TYPICAL HUNTER: JARED LURK, PHARMACIST, DRURY OUTDOORS TEAM MEMBER LOCATION: IOWA DATE OF KILL: DEC. 21, 2015
In 2011 I got pics of a great buck, and when he showed up again on camera in mid October 2012, he stopped me in my tracks. I named him Klondike, because getting him would be like striking gold.
Problem was, I was already obsessed with another huge buck I’d named Hightower. I’d been hunting him since 2006, and seen him only a dozen times or so in that time— and I probably sat 30 times for every encounter or two. I was out of my mind over Hightower. Honestly, I let my quest for him cut too much into my family time.
Finally in 2013, I killed Hightower during the late muzzleloader season. At 184 and change, it was the biggest buck of my life. But when Klondike showed up on camera in September of 2014, he was just about as big. I really wanted this deer, but I knew I couldn’t put myself or my family through another campaign like the one with Hightower. But I also realized that I didn’t have to.
Hightower was an over-thetop obsession, but what I learned from hunting him allowed me to chase this new quest much more efficiently. I went over my history with Hightower, and my trail-cam
record of both bucks, and I noted the periods when the deer showed up in daylight. Then I concentrated my hunting on similar days, and my ratio of sightings to sits with Klondike went way up. In 2015, I had a new baby and couldn’t hunt him until the last part of the season. I killed him on my third sit, on the opening day of muzzleloader season. —D.H.
Eating Late After a long breeding season, big bucks feed heavily.
“Klondike,” Lurk, and son Henry.